Current Conditions

Alerts

A paved roadway on the right hangs over a wide, deep dirt and rock-filled gulley that undercuts the roadway
A section of the Generals Highway between Hospital Rock and the Giant Forest that experienced significant damage during recent winter storms. Other sections of road experienced mud and rockslides. Road crews are working to repair damage in order to re-open the highway to Giant Forest.

NPS photo

Planning a trip to the parks?

Access to Sequoia Groves and Grant Grove

Grant Tree Road is open. This is currently the only area to see sequoia trees. Expect long lines at the entrance station and limited parking. Park only in designated parking spots. Tire chains or cables will be mandatory for all vehicles to carry. Expect roads to be in R1 or R2 tire chain restrictions. The speed limit in chain control areas is always 25 mph. Be prepared for icy and slick wintry roads. For current road conditions, call (559) 565-3341 (press 1,1).

Closure of the Generals Highway to the Giant Forest

It is not possible to access the Giant Forest and the General Sherman Tree due to impacts to the Generals Highway from recent storms. Driving to Grant Grove from Hospital Rock is the fastest way to see sequoia trees. Hiking or walking the Generals Highway from Hospital Rock to snow or the Giant Forest is not recommended.

Extreme flooding damaged key drainage fixtures between Hospital Rock Picnic Area and the Giant Forest. The highway will need major repairs before it will be safe to reopen. Road crews are working to prevent further damage to the road. The park is also working with Federal Highways to assess damage and begin repairs. Storms in December and January brought the most extreme weather conditions in the park that long-term staff have seen in over 30 years. In addition to heavy precipitation, storms brought rain on top of the snowpack, melting existing snow and adding that moisture to the rain. All of this flowed over areas burned in 2021’s KNP Complex Fire, causing erosion, mudflows, and rockslides. Roads are heavily impacted by mud and rock slides not only in the parks, but along routes leading to the area.

Winter Safety

If you decide to visit the sequoias this winter, be prepared with traction devices for your shoes, layered clothing, and extra food and water for emergencies and keep an eye on weather forecasts.

According to CDC guidelines, Tulare and Fresno Counties are currently fluctuating between Moderate and High Community Risk Levels of Covid-19. For this reason, all visitors and employees may be required to wear masks inside government buildings and facilities.

Check park alerts and the sections below for conditions in the area you are considering visiting.

 

General and Area-Specific Conditions

There are many places to rent or purchase tire chains or cables in Three Rivers, if you are entering Sequoia National Park along Highway 198. If you are traveling into Kings Canyon National Park via Highway 180, options to rent tire chains are more limited, with the nearest rental location in Dunlap (14 miles outside the park). The nearest location to purchase tire chains is located in Squaw Valley (21 miles outside the park). Rental prices for chains or cables typically range from $40-$65 per day, and purchases from $50-$200.

Seasonal Road Closures

  • The Generals Highway is closed between the parks. Additional closures will be in effect after storms.
  • The road to the main Sherman Tree parking area is closed for the season due to snow accumulation.
  • Highway 180 to Cedar Grove is closed for the season at the Hume gate.
  • Mineral King Road is closed for the season.
  • Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road is closed due to snow accumulation, the road will close and it will become a trail for skiing and snowshoeing.
  • Panoramic Drive in the Grant Grove area is closed due to snow accumulation. The road is not plowed and will not re-open until it melts out.
  • Middle Fork Road is closed for the season.
  • Crystal Cave Road (Sequoia National Park) is closed for the season.
  • Redwood Mountain Road (Kings Canyon National Park) is currently closed due to hazardous conditions from the 2021 KNP Complex Fire.

The Generals Highway leading to this area is closed due to ongoing impacts from winter storms.

 

It's not possible to drive to sequoia groves or the Genral Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park. Road crews are working to maintain access to highways leading to sequoia groves in the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park. To visit Grant Grove, take Highway 180 to the park entrance. 

The Generals Highway north of Hospital Rock is closed until further notice. Wuksachi Lodge is also closed until further notice due to the road closures. 

When the highway reopens, personal traction devices for your shoes may help you avoid slips or falls in areas that are icy or snowy. At this time of year, dress in layers and keep an eye on weather forecasts.

Trails - All trails are inaccessible while the Generals Highway is closed. Once the area is accessible again:

  • When rain and snow are in the forecast expect quickly changing conditions on trails. Personal traction devices, such as microspikes, yak tracks, or snowshoes, are recommended for all trails because of the snow and ice. 
  • The path from the Accessible Sherman Tree parking lot to the Sherman Tree is sometimes cleared of snow, but you still may encounter slippery or icy conditions.

Roads
Once the area is accessible again, roads will be icy and slippery. 

  • The Main Sherman Tree parking area is closed for the season due to snow accumulation.
  • Moro Rock / Crescent Meadow Road is closed to vehicles due to snow accumulation. This road is not plowed in the winter. It will re-open when the road can be safely cleared in the late spring, depending on snow conditions. You can still hike along the road, but we highly recommend gear such as spikes or snowshoes to navigate the snowy trails. 
  • The Generals Highway is closed between the parks.

Wolverton Snowplay Area

Currently, snowplay areas in Sequoia National Park are inaccessible due to road closures caused by impacts from winter storms. 

When conditions are safe, please only use dedicated snowplay areas for sledding. Enjoy a walk through the snowy trees of the Giant Forest instead or check out the winter activities page for additional ideas on how to spend your time in Sequoia National Park.

Attend a Ranger Talk
Ranger talks may be available in the Giant Forest as weather allows and when highways are open. For a complete list of ranger talks, programs, and guided hikes, visit our events calendar

Temporary Closures
Even when highways are open, Wuksachi Lodge and Restaurant will be closed on weekdays from January 9 through February 9 for facility work. The lodge is scheduled to be open on weekends if road conditions allow access to the area.

The only area of the parks to currently see sequoia trees is Grant Grove. By midday on busy days, parking can be limited due to overcrowding. If you decide to visit, come prepared with traction devices for your feet. Dress in layers and keep an eye on weather forecasts. For current road conditions, call (559) 565-3341 (press 1,1).

Kings Canyon Visitor Center
The Kings Canyon Visitor Center is open and may be hard to see under many feet of snow. Enjoy the warmth inside while checking out exhibits, chatting with staff, or browsing the gift shop. 

Trails

  • The only trail that regularly gets cleared of snow is the Grant Tree Trail. With snow and ice throughout the area, personal traction devices, such as microspikes, yak tracks, or snowshoes, are strongly recommended for the Grant Tree Trail and all other trails in the area.
  • Trails in the Redwood Canyon area are closed following damage from the 2021 KNP Complex Fire and will not reopen until conditions are safe. Some trees in the area are still burning and some smoke can be visible from the highway.

Roads 

Cleared roads can be icy at night and even throughout the day. Be prepared for icy conditions at all times.

  • Hume Lake Road: Please call the Hume Lake Ranger District for the most current road conditions. (559) 338-2251.
  • The Generals Highway is closed between the parks.
  • Panoramic Drive, which closes to vehicles in winter, is open for hiking or snowshoeing. This strenuous 5-mile (8 km) round trip to Panoramic Point climbs almost 1,000 feet (300 m) in elevation. Snowshoes or traction devices are recommended.

Camping

Azalea Campground has 20 first-come, first-served campsites, although campsites may be icy or inaccesssible due to snow accumulation. The campground may close at any time if it's not possible to keep roads clear into the area. Sunset and Crystal Springs Campgrounds are closed for the season. 

Snowplay
Currently, snowplay areas are icy and getting icier. Days have been sunny enough to melt powder from recent storms, which freezes overnight. Snowplay is not recommended until signficant new snow occurs. 

Snowplpay is only allowed in designated snowplay areas: Big Stump and Columbine picnic areas, and Cherry Flat in Sequoia National Forest. Check out the winter activities page for additional ideas on how to spend your time in Kings Canyon National Park.

Snowshoe with a Ranger
Ranger guided snowshoe programs may be available on weekends as weather allows. Snowshoes are provided for this program with a 20-person program limit that can vary in distance, time, and difficulty. Go to the Kings Canyon Visitor Center for more information or to sign up in advance. For a complete list of ranger talks and programs visit our events calendar

Highway 180 to Cedar Grove Seasonal Closure

  • The highway is now closed for the season. The gate for the closure is just north/east of the junction of Highway 180 and Hume Lake Road.

 

Generals Highway is closed at Hospital Rock until further notice due to impacts from ongoing winter storms. 


Hospital Rock Pictographs 
By working with local Native Americans, we’ve learned the pictographs at Hospital Rock are sacred to their communities. They are as important as any place of worship. Do not touch or mark on the pictographs or rocks here. If you see someone vandalizing this area, please let a park ranger know right away.

Explore Marble Falls
This trail climbs 3.9 miles (6 km) through chaparral to a lovely cascade. Park near site #14 at Potwisha Campground. Follow the dirt road across the concrete ditch. The trail starts along the steep bank to the right.

Stay Safe in the Foothills
Because of recent flooding, creek crossings along trails may be difficult. Water levels can rise through the day as snow melts in the mountains or as rain falls at upper elevations, near the headwaters of streams. Localized flooding is likely during storms. Since soils are saturated from recent storms, be cautious on trails that traverse across steep slopes because the trail bed may be soft along trail edges on the downhill side. Please check the weather forecasts before heading into the parks.

Many areas in the foothills are within the 2021 KNP Fire's footprint, where heavy rains on top of burned soil may lead to rockslides or mudslides. The safest option will be to avoid any trail that includes a creek crossing. If you feel uncomfortable crossing or are worried that levels may rise before your return trip, consider turning back. Check our Foothills Trails page for ideas to help you plan your trip.

Closed Trails:

  • Ladybug Trail and Garfield Grove Trail: The portion of South Fork Road within the park boundary that provides access to the trailheads for Ladybug Trail and Garfield Grove Trail suffered severe damage from flooding and landslides during winter storms. The road is impassable to vehicles. The trails have not been evaluated following the storms, but significant damage and challenging or hazardous sections are likely. Anyone wanting to travel on these trails should be self-reliant, as road damage -- as well as any trail damage -- makes any rescue effort challenging and subject to delays.

Camping:

  • Potwisha Campground has sites that are usually snow-free and reservations are required. Visit Recreation.gov to reserve your campsite.
  • South Fork Campground is currently inaccessible and closed due to damage from flooding and landslides from winter storms.  Damage to the campground and the access road are being assessed. At this time, it is unknown when the campground will re-open.

Pets

Pets, including those riding in backpacks, are prohibited on all trails. This includes paved trails, such as the General Sherman Tree Trail, Big Trees Trail, and Grant Tree Trail. In the nearby national forest lands that surround these parks, leashed pets are allowed on trails. Leashes must be less than 6 feet (1.8 meters) long. Learn more about traveling with pets.


Traffic Congestion

During weekends and holidays, our entrance stations become congested, especially at the Sequoia National Park entrance near Three Rivers, California. Check out these tips to avoid congestion or the inconveniences it may cause. We always recommend that you buy your entrance pass online before you arrive.

Recent Wildfire Activity

In September of 2021, the lightning-caused KNP Complex Fire burned through a significant portion of the park. You will see evidence of recent wildfire along the Generals Highway and on trails. Check our tips for safety in burned areas if you plan to hike in an area affected by fire. Our closure map shows trails (in red) that are closed.


NPS Mobile App

Download the NPS Mobile app to get started on your next national park adventure. The NPS App can connect you to all 420+ national parks from one single app.

Want to improve your visit to Sequoia and Kings Canyon? Get information on popular features, visitor centers, campgrounds, fees and passes, park alerts, passport stamp locations, and more. When you install the app, check the option to download offline content. Cell service is extremely limited at the parks and this option will allow you to use the app in areas with no coverage.


WiFi and Cellular Service

WiFi is available at Kings Canyon and Foothills visitor centers. However, if you use the NPS Mobile app, download the app and data before you arrive. Cell phone service may be available in the Grant Grove developed area for Verizon customers, and outside the Foothills Visitor Center for AT&T customers. However, cellular service is not reliable at these locations.


Information on Neighboring Public Lands

  • Traveling to Yosemite National Park? Visit their webpage to plan your trip in advance.
  • For information on the status of the Sequoia National Forest or Giant Sequoia National Monument (managed by the US Forest Service), visit the Sequoia National Forest website.
  • For information on Lake Kaweah (managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), visit their website.

 

Day Hiking: No permits are needed for day hiking. See the Day Hiking Page for more information about trails in different areas of the parks. During the winter months, personal traction devices, such as spikes for footware, are recommended for ice and icy snow.

Trail Closures: Some trails are closed due to impacts from the KNP Complex Fire.


Wilderness Permits and Overnight Backpacking, Outside of Quota Season

Through May 25, 2023

  • Self-issue wilderness permits are available for overnight backpacking at Foothills and Kings Canyon visitor centers and at Giant Forest Museum. 

Wilderness Permits during the Quota Season

Beginning May 26, 2023

  • Wilderness permit reservations are available on Recreation.gov. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance of your trip, and are released daily at 7:00 AM Pacific Standard Time.
  • During the quota season, the number of people beginning trips each day is limited by entry point and a recreation fee is required. Reservations are available for most, but not all entry points.
  • Permit pick up will be available at the station closest to your desired trailhead: Mineral King Ranger Station, Foothills Visitor Center, Giant Forest Museum, Kings Canyon Visitor Center, or Road's End Permit Station-Cedar Grove.

Most campgrounds in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have closed for the season, except Azalea and Potwisha Campgrounds.

South Fork Campground is currently unusable and closed, and the road has suffered severe damage and is impassable. We strongly discourage hikers or day users from attempting to explore this area. 

2023 Reservations
Reservation booking windows for 2023 will vary by campground. We recommend that you make reservations as far in advance of your stay as possible. Make reservations or get more information on opening dates and booking windows directly on our camping web pages or at Recreation.gov.

First-come, First-served for Winter
This winter, camping is available on a first-come, first serve basis at Azalea Campground. We recommend that you pay for only one night at a time. Campgrounds may close at any time due to weather, road conditions, or other causes and refunds cannot be issued. Snow removal can take up to 24 hours after a heavy winter storm. Consider checking out prior to a major storm, or prepare for an extended park stay if you are unable to leave due to impassable roads.

 
  • A man installs chains on his vehicle. Photo by Kirke Wrench.

    Winter Driving & Tire Chains

    Be prepared for snowy mountain roads! Chains may be required at any time.

  • Three smartphones with screens showing app features

    NPS Mobile App

    The official National Park Service app can guide you around the parks, no cell service needed.

  • A family plays in the snow. Photo by Alison Taggart-Barone.

    Snowplay

    Serious snowplay-related injuries happen weekly in winter months. Learn more about how to avoid accidents.

  • A person pushing another person in a wheelchair pauses a moment on a snowy trail.

    Accessibility

    We offer recreational opportunities suited for a wide range of abilities, including exhibits, walking, camping, and shuttle transportation.

  • A metal food storage box is provided at each campsite.

    Store Food to Protect Wildlife

    Bears are active day and night. When camping or picnicking, all food, trash, and any item with a scent must be stored in food-storage boxes.

  • People around a campfire

    Fire Restrictions

    Campfires may be prohibited when fire danger is extreme.

  • A distant hazy sky with particulate matter forms over Sierra mountains.

    Air Quality

    Ozone and other air pollutants are common here. Learn more-view our air-quality index forecast.

  • Fire fighters stand on a burning slope

    Current Fire Information

    A link to all current fires can be found here. You may also subscribe to our fire information mailing list.

  • Two men in backpacks on a rocky trail look out over a vista of rugged mountains and conifers.

    Wilderness Permit Reservations

    Make a wilderness permit reservation through Recreation.gov.

Last updated: February 3, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers , CA 93271

Phone:

559 565-3341

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